Sure, the weather produced rain (and the requisite delay) instead of Buffalo’s snow globe effect. And maybe there wasn’t a storybook moment like Sidney Crosby’s shootout game winner in that same 2008 Winter Classic.
But those minor quibbles aside, the 2011 Winter Classic was a fantastic event. The Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1, but the real winners were hockey fans (but hardcore and new), who were treated to a hard-fought game between two teams who truly dislike one another. The game featured a lot of rugged play and a couple ugly goals, but there were also some brilliant moments, even without a goal (that counted) by Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin.
Check out the game’s highlights in the video below.
Sometimes all it takes is a single photo to whet your appetite for what’s to come.
For the newly rescheduled 2011 Winter Classic that’s set to take place now at 8 p.m. Saturday night thanks to questionable weather in Pittsburgh, we’ve got just the photo for you to get you excited for what outdoor hockey under the lights will look like.
If you want to get a better look at the photo, feel free to click on it and blow it up nice and big for you to use as you will. We know your evening wasn’t truly spent glued to the television sets tonight watching hockey, but we’re pretty sure New Year’s night is going to be just the hangover medicine the doctor ordered with the Winter Classic.
Happy New Year everyone.
With the 2011 Winter Classic being delayed until 8:00 pm on New Year’s Day thanks to bad weather during the afternoon, the questions now turn to what happens if the weather turns bad during the game itself. The NHL is prepared with solutions for how to ensure that a game that’s started gets a proper outcome. Whether or not fans find those outcomes to be proper will be up for debate.
According to the NHL, once a game has begun it may be subjected to one or more temporary stoppages due to unplayable weather conditions. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has the final say as to whether or not the game is held up. Commissioner Bettman can also reconfigure the period and game format as needed. Teams changing ends at the 10:00 minute mark of the third period to make things fairer for both teams should the conditions dictate isn’t unfounded. Doing this allows for both teams to see the same amount of time overall on each end of the ice.
Where things get interesting is if the game is started and then stopped permanently because of the weather. If two periods have been played, the game is technically official. If one team is ahead, they’ll earn the win and get two points. If the game is tied, however, each team will get a point and then conduct a shootout to decide the winner. There won’t be an overtime period in this situation.
If the weather is so bad that even a shootout is considered too dangerous to do, then they’ll conduct the shootout on Feb. 6 prior to the start of the Pens-Caps game at Verizon Center in Washington. I can’t imagine this would cause too much of an uproar for Penguins fans to lose the home ice advantage.
Of course, if the game is started and permanently stopped before the second period is over, the game will be “postponed” and, if at all possible, be played on January 2nd in its entirety. Fantasy hockey teams could get ruined pretty hard if it turns into a goal fest early on only to have it postponed. It’s a special set of circumstances, but if you’re thinking the NHL isn’t prepared for this – think again.
The NHL is delaying the start time of the 2011 Winter Classic. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly broke the news on the NHL Network that the Winter Classic start time would be moved to 8 p.m. on Jan. 1 because of warm weather and the threat of rain. The possibility of a time change had been talked about all week and discussion picked up even more today when the weather forecast didn’t improve at all.
As for the competition the Winter Classic will now face in prime time TV, with it being college football bowl season, the main competition is the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl featuring Oklahoma and UConn. While delaying the start of the game is a bit of a bummer, going up against that bowl game in particular is a bit of a blessing in disguise.
Rather than an early afternoon start, getting to play the game under the lights at Heinz Field offers the opportunity to make the rink and the game really shine on the big stage.
The weather has been a hot topic for the past week leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic and if reports are to be believed, this year’s game might be getting a later start than scheduled.
With unseasonably warm temperatures and a high likelihood of rain and even thunderstorms moving into Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon, the NHL might be changing the start time for the Winter Classic from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Katie Carrera of The Washington Post has the report.
The latest weather reports predict about 0.5″ of rain in Pittsburgh between Saturday morning and afternoon, with 80 percent of it falling before 1 p.m. It should taper off around 3-4 p.m., theoretically giving Winter Classic officials time to get the ice ready for faceoff.
NHL officials have been keeping a close eye on the weather updates and Carrera also reports that the NHL will have a decision made by 5:00 pm about what will happen. As it is, the weather today in Pittsburgh was in the low 50s and it felt very warm at field level and it showed on the ice during the Alumni Game and during both team practices. Soft ice is no good for the speed of the game as well as for the ability of the pucks to move and goalies to to play effective in their crease.
We’ll keep you up to date on what happens here in Pittsburgh as it happens.
Update: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will have an update at 5:00 pm as to what the NHL will do.